Expert tax advice from an Arlington Heights accountant and his brother enabled multiple gas station owners in Chicago and the suburbs to scam the state out of millions, prosecutors said.
Naveed Ahmed, 42, of Arlington Heights and his brother, 38-year-old Asif Waheed of Chicago, pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud, mail fraud and preparing fraudulent Illinois tax returns Friday in Cook County court.
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They were sentenced to two years of felony probation and will assist authorities in further investigations as part of a plea deal.
The scheme the brothers were engaged in resulted in the loss of more than $5 million in unpaid taxes, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said.
The two used their tax know-how to assist owners of eight gas stations in Chicago, Cicero, Homewood and Joliet to underreport gas sales between 2007 and 2009. Ahmed, who owns Midwest Financial Services with offices in Arlington Heights and Chicago, and his brother, who is an employee, were indicted in 2011.
The company had a reputation among gas station owners for finding ways to conceal sales figures required for monthly tax return forms, authorities said.
The investigation was part of a statewide probe into tax evasion by business owners that has netted about $75 million in previously lost revenues. Madigan's office began focusing on gas stations in 2010.
The eight gas station owners previously pleaded guilty and have paid back the missing taxes.
Attempts to reach Ahmed were unsuccessful.